LOS ANGELES -- As the Mark Taper Forum's Asian Theatre heads out into a community space, their multi-cultural presentation A Beautiful Country also offers multi-media and multi-disciplinary elements. This world premiere opens June 12 and continues through June 21 at Chinatown's Castelar School.
The production, written and directed by the Mark Taper Forum's Asian Theatre Workshop Director Chay Yew, covers 150 years of Asian-American history, including struggles, setbacks and triumphs. The main point of view comes from the character of an immigrant drag queen, Miss Visa Denied. Additionally, Yew explained, the show will fuse national historical figures with the actual stories of Chinatown residents.
The show is being presented by the Cornerstone Theater Company, in association with East West Players and the Taper's Asian Theatre Workshop. Cornerstone is known for creating productions in collaboration with 30 communities nationwide, presenting original works or contemporary adaptations of classic texts. Included in their work is a partnership with the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival to create The Too Noble Brothers with high school students on the Lower East Side of New York.
The cast includes Cornerstone Theatre Company ensemble actors Page Leong and Armando Molina, plus guest artists Reggie Lee, Erik Steinberg and Chris Wells.
Performances are pay-what-you-can. Shows are 7:30 PM Thursdays through Saturdays, with weekend matinees at 2:30 PM. The Castelar School is at 840 Yale Street, Chinatown, Los Angeles. Call (310) 449-1700.
-- By Michael Farkash
Southern California Correspondent